Memorial Cup Visits Clyde River
Reprinted from The Guardian, July 28, 2011 – Mitch MacDonald – Saint John Sea Dogs left winger Jason Cameron was taken back to the moment all over again.
Nearly two months after his team played Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors in the championship game for the coveted MasterCard Memorial Cup, Cameron was reminded of his team’s 3-1 win when he picked up the trophy early Tuesday morning.
“Getting the cup again was just like reliving the moment,” said Cameron, of Clyde River, in an interview with The Guardian shortly after parting with the trophy Wednesday afternoon.
The moment came Sunday, May 29, when the Sea Dogs overcame the odds for the victory against the hometown St. Michael’s Majors, becoming the first team from Atlantic Canada to win the major junior trophy in its 93-year history.
The win also made the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League rookie one of the few Islanders to win the trophy and possibly the only one to bring it back to the province.
Cameron is one of three Islanders on the Memorial Cup champion team roster. Head coach Gerard ‘Turk’ Gallant is from Summerside, while and assistant coach Mike Kelly from Kinkora.
Murray Harbour’s Brad Richards also won the Memorial Cup trophy in 2000, playing with Rimouski in the tournament in Halifax, but it is believed that Richards did not have the opportunity to bring that trophy home to P.E.I.
“It’s pretty special to be one of the few to bring it back to the Island,” said Cameron.
He didn’t get a chance to play in the Memorial Cup tourney because of an injury but was with the team throughout the tourney.
The 18-year-old Cameron suffered a bruised kidney that ended his rookie season in Game 4 of the QMJHL final against Gatineau.
At the time, team coach Gallant said it was a shame Cameron didn’t get to play in the Memorial Cup because he was playing well and was an Island kid.
Being the youngest of four brothers in a hockey-playing family, Cameron also scored on his chance to bring the trophy to his P.E.I. home.
Much of Cameron’s day was spent in his backyard with the trophy, surrounded by family and friends, he said.
“Everyone was pretty excited,” he said. “It was good for people to get to see the cup because not a lot of people get to.”
Cameron also got to keep the cup overnight, dropping it off at the Charlottetown Airport Wednesday afternoon.
Unlike the Stanley Cup, which has a handler at all times, team management designates a day for each player to have the trophy, while the members are responsible for passing the cup between them.
Cameron has previously played with the Cornwall Superior Thunder in the 2008-2009 season before joining the Summerside Western Capitals of the Maritime Junior Hockey League in 2009-2010.
Cameron had seven points, including three goals, in 46 regular season games with the Sea Dogs in his rookie QMJHL year, finishing with a plus-2 rating.
The player is spending the summer training at Andrews Sports Science Research and Training Centre in Charlottetown with Kris MacPhee, before returning to Saint John in mid-August to prepare for the new QMJHL season.